As we read through the Bible each day with our children, my husband and I find that the reading brings up a host of questions for us. We have enjoyed reading various commentaries to get some unique perspectives on a passage of Scripture.
The following are some online commentaries we like:
- E-sword is my favorite (http://e-sword.net). After downloading the main e-sword component, go to “Downloads” and use the drop-down menu to find a lot of great commentaries. After these are downloaded to my desktop, I have to click on each to install it. If we’re reading in Matthew, I open the passage of Scripture in e-sword, and a symbol tells me which commentaries have information on that passage.
- Blue Letter Bible is my second favorite (http://www.blueletterbible.org). In the search box, I enter the passage of Scripture we’re studying, and it brings up the text of that chapter in the version I’ve chosen. To the left I see several blue boxes, with letters such as K, C, L, V, I, or D. If I allow my cursor to float over these letters, it will tell me what each one offers. L stands for “List Available Commentaries.”
- At Bible Gateway, we often use the commentary by IVP (http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/, see the drop-down menu).
Do we agree with all of the interpretations presented in these commentaries? Not even close! In fact, we disagree with some of the commentaries we read so often that we read them just to see what “the other side” thinks.
This brings up the biggest danger of consulting a commentary in the first place. We must be very, very careful not to depend on the writings of a commentator over the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is my teacher (Luke 12:12, John 14:26). I must always remember to be still before Him and allow Him to teach me in His characteristic “still, small voice.” I am also responsible to become thoroughly knowledgeable with the entire counsel of Scripture, so that I’m aware of interpretations that disagree with Scripture.
With these warnings in mind, we hope that you’ll enjoy the commentaries that are available to us!